Disposable Coffee Cups: Are They Recyclable?

a cup of coffee

Are you one of the millions that have to have their cup of coffee in the morning before you feel like a human being? I know I am. And if you're like me and stop at a drive-thru on your way to work every morning do you bring your own mug? If you don't here's why you should.

Most paper coffee cups have a plastic liner to make them waterproof. This liner makes them difficult and costly to recycle because the plastic needs to be separated from the cardboard. Many municipalities do not have the equipment needed to do this so they are unable to recycle disposable coffee cups. 

The lids are difficult to recycle too. Many cities can not process dark or black plastic because the colour blends in with the machines themselves and therefore is not recognized. The lids are also very light and small making them difficult for the machines to sort properly.

What about disposable cups made from plant-based materials? While these are a better alternative, they still have a heavy environmental impact. It takes a lot of resources to make and recycle so reusable is always the best alternative. 

It is important that we realize disposable should not be the norm but instead the rarity and only out of necessity. Our society has become wasteful and lazy and it is time to change. Start today and change tomorrow.

Check out our selection of Reusable Coffee Cups

Sources:

  • How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Coffee Habit: perfectdailygrind.com
  • Greenpeace Slams Tim Hortons' New Recyclable Coffee Lids: vice.com
  • Single Use Coffee Cup Reduction: recyclingadvocates.org
  • Winnipeg, You're Recycling Wrong: Common Misconceptions About What Can Go In Blue Bins: cbc.ca


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